Exceptional chryselephantine bust in ivory and silver and gilded bronze,
adorned with turquoise enamelled cabochons and colored stones in imitation of amethyst and emerald.
The set rests on a blue john base and a large green marble base.
Total height : 33 cm
Signed " E. Bernoud ".
The bust, probably this one, was exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1902 under the number 3842.
Engraved on a silver medallion on the front of the base : " A Monsieur Paul Desbief, ses amis et collaborateurs à l’occasion de son élévation à la Présidence de la Chambre de Commerce de Marseille, 21 Février 1905 ".
On a plaque engraved on the back of the base, appears the list of donors : " Maurice Desbief, Ernest Desbief, Eugène Desbief, Joseph Couelle, André Faye, Victor Giraud, Emile Cartier, Frédéric de Montguers, Maurice Verdet, André Wuichet, Georges Wiart, Joseph Genton, Jean Bonnetti, Jean-Baptiste Roque, Victor Ricard, Marius Gérard ".
The theme of Grisélidis, inspired by a medieval legend, was taken up at the Paris Comédie-Française with the play "Le mystère de Grisélidis" then adapted for the opera by Jules Massenet, whose first performance took place in 1901 at the Paris Opéra-Comique.
According to the Salon libretto, the sculptor Eugène Bernoud was a student of MM. Carlus and Morice and at the time resided in Paris, at 183 rue Saint-Denis.
Paul Desbief (1850-1922), whose homage is paid on the plaque, worked in Marseille at the Société nouvelle des Raffineries de sucre de Saint-Louis. He entered the Marseille Chamber of Commerce in 1897 and was its president from 1905 to 1908. Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1895, he was also president of the Marseille anti-tuberculosis organization. Paul Desibef was a fervent defender of the social rights of vulnerable people and concerned about the plight of workers, he created a Provident Fund providing everyone with free medical service and a retirement and disability pension. In 1914 he worked for the creation of a hospital dedicated to treating wounded soldiers.